Jones county deputies, animal rescue join forces to sniff out dog fighting

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Jones County deputies along with Southern Cross Animal Rescue detail their plan to crack down on dog fighting rings once and for all.

Both agencies held a press conference Wednesday and want to bring as much awareness as they can to the community about this felony.

"It is not going to be tolerated, animal cruelty, dog fighting will not be tolerated," said Jones County Sheriff's Department Major Jamie Tedford.

The Jones County Sheriff's Department and Southern Cross Animal Rescue are joining efforts to stop dog fighting in the area. This comes after two dogs were found last week in a wooded area near what appeared to be a dog fighting ring. Still no arrests or leads, but one Jones County couple, who choose to remain anonymous, is offering a reward to help find those responsible.

"If somebody can give me information that leads to an arrest and a conviction for this past dog fighting ring then they will receive five hundred dollars," said Major Tedford.

"People are speaking up already and they know they have the support of the sheriff's department and I think a lot of people aren't going to be afraid to speak up anymore," said S.C.A.R. board member Cindy Renz.

In Mississippi, dog fighting is considered a felony. Any person who conducts or instigates a match between dogs shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. Those responsible can be punished by imprisonment for a term of not less than one or more than three years.

As for the dogs, animal rescue says they're doing much better, even after a week.

"Keep sending the applications because we want to be able to pick and choose the very best homes for these particular guys," said S.C.A.R. Founder Shannon Bates.

The sheriff's department said they take these cases seriously. Currently there are seven Jones County deputies registered for three different classes on investigating and combating dog fighting in the area.

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